Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka URL Shortener Raises $10 Million, the start-up you’ve probably used recently to send someone a shorter version of a Web address, has raised another round of funding. The service, spun out of the Betaworks incubator, says that the RRE VC fund led the $10 million round, and that partner Eric Wiesen will join the company’s board. has now raised about $14 million in a couple of years, but so far has only a nascent revenue stream: About 4,000 different companies have white label versions of’s URL shortener (the New York Times, for instance, uses to create addresses like this: But only some of them pay for that service, at a rate of $1,000 a month.

The real business, which Betaworks CEO John Borthwick says the company will begin to build out with its new money, is turning’s data set into money.

People clicked on six billion links last month, Borthwick says. And he imagines that all sorts of folks, from Google (GOOG) on down, would be willing to pay to license the data.

It’s worth noting that Yahoo (YHOO), among others, has been doing some tire-kicking around the service–maybe more, depending on whose story you’d like to listen to.

Other investors in this round include OATV, Mitch Kapor, Founders Fund, SV Angel, Joshua Stylman, Peter Hershberg and David Shen. The New York Times (NYT), as I have previously written, picked up a piece of this summer as partial payment for its work in in, a yet-to-be-launched social news service for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald